XP Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
613 Ratings
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
XP is short for Exception Pale Ale. This light golden pale ale balances the malt and hops for a smooth, drinkable beer that compliments any meal.

2009 California State Fair – SILVER
2008 Colorado State Fair - GOLD
2006 California State Fair – 1st
2003 Real Ale Fest (Chicago) – BRONZE

Added by xlperro on 10-05-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 396
Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A: Halfway between gold and copper, with a 2" thick, fluffy, foamy head that stayed lofty and luscious. Lots of lacing as I drank.

S: Pine tar, strong grapefruit, peach, light scents of fresh-baked bread, oranges, alcohol. Definitely heavy on the hops, makes me excited to taste it.

T: Lots of grapefruit, orange, and pine up front. The generous hops balanced with the present, but muted, malt undercurrents. Crisp tasting, really great Pale Ale style that avoids the pitfalls of being watery or flaccid.

M: Light, refreshing, crisp. Hops bite, but don't linger on the palate overlong. Perfect for a PA.

D: Easy to drink, for sure. The surprise is that it's also more engaging than I've come to expect from American Pales, serving as a great representation of its own style, rather than as "IPA Light."

I really liked the Black Bear Stout put out by these guys, but never got around to trying anything else by them. Now I'll hunt their beer down like dogs.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden-amber color, good firm white head with nice rockiness and good staying power. Aroma is nice, some slight citrus and fruity notes along with a fairly strong floral note. The flavor is awesome, very well balanced, a nice combination of hoppiness, some robust maltiness, and a good clean bitterness. Very delicious.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a slightly reddish gold with a giant white foamy head. The smell is very malty with pine and citrus aromas. A very hoppy aroma. The taste is pretty hoppy with a sweet malt balance, grassy, and "bisquity". The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. I'm not a big pale ale fan,but this is damn good and could be a nice session beer.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good, solid overall beer. I feel too many east coast breweries these days concentrate on the hops and nothing else, but this is really well balanced. The smell is slight, and is mostly of hops and light malt. The taste is gradual, starting with a light hop kiss then developing to a fully-sized concoction of hops and malt with a few spices. Really surprising, and really delicious.

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Photo of bruachan
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i hate american pale ales (and by "hate" i mean "can't live without")
XP is another example of why i "hate" the style. label says "cascade and centennial"...i can't wait

bigtime lacing, though the retention isn't so righteous. crayola would describe the color as "gilt nectarine" or perhaps "copper sunshine." maybe even "the color of the stuff the spanish crown enslaved indigenous andeans to mine and send back to europe" if they were feeling particularly anti-imperialist

aromas of sweetness and floral hops. juicy

this one is funky (not off, but craaazy). at first i wondered if my bottle was bad, but i think it's probably fine. juicy sweet up front with some kicking grapefruit followup. the reason i thought it might have been bad was the late bitterness in which i thought i might have found a vinegary zing. but i decided it was delicious instead

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Photo of scooter231
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden, ruby-esque color with some head, and very little lacing. Quite clear. Smell is pungent and hoppy, quite crisp, with some lemonyness going on, and a hint of banana in the background. Malty sweetness. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts, more banana, and some pine. A toastyness rounds out the flavor. Mouthfeel is the weakest part of this brew, thin and watery. It's got some texture, but it's mostly lame. Overall this is a meaty brew, it's got balls. Good bang for your buck.

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Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange - lots of suspended sediment and finely dispersed carbonation. Small yet thickly creamy head and nicely sticky lacing. Balanced aroma of dusty malts and dark citrus notes. Dry, husky sweetness. Taste is balanced likewise...something strangely English about the malts. Bitter, earthy hops - not super-citrusy like I was expecting. Solid, lasting dry bitterness. May be a tad thin for the flavor profile.

I'm not convinced this is the freshest bottle but there's no real way of telling due to a lack of any date. Not skunked or nasty...just not as "fresh" as I was expecting. Dry, musty, and not nearly as hop-heavy as is usually customary from a West-coast brewery.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is golden orange with a lot of suspended chunks mixed with rising carbonation bubbles. Very soapy looking white head has good retention. Smells very interesing. Lots of different malt aromas intermingle with refreshing light hops. Buttery bready malt, English malt, biscuity and maybe some carmel too. Hops are grassy, floral, sweet orange and grapefruit, and slightly pine. This is generally packing my nose with happiness. Taste is very nicely malty and hopped. Fine combination of stuff. Biscuity, citrus, grassy...pretty much all of the above. Mouthfeel has a good slick smoothness to it. Coats the mouth thoroughly and has good drinkability too.

Definitely worth getting. Beer is great.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown bomber into a pint glass.
Orangish amber almost pumpkin colored. Very Explosive head. Takes several soft pours as I have to pour then wait for the head to die down. Sticky lace foams up on the side of the glass. Lots of floaters in the glass. Smell is mild. Sweet, honey, light hop smell. The taste and mouthfeel is unique. Unlike any other APA I've had. Maybe it's the English malts. Whatever it is I just can't put my finger on it. Anyway it is malty and biscuity up front with a light hop finish. Can taste the hops more in the aftertaste than the actual taste. The unique flavor and mouthfeel hurts the drinkability some, but it is still drinkable. I will drink again but it's not one of my favorite APA's

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Photo of Enola
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep amber and had an explosive head. There were a fair amount of floaters. The smell was piney, sweet. The taste was bitter, and citrusy. The mouthfeel had a lingering bittersweetness. I could drink one of these again sometime.

Thanks to wcudwight for the sample.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber capped with a nice Bear Republic head - the brewery is so consistent in their head that it deserves its own name.

Some floral hops hit the nose first, followed by slightly honeyish and metallic malts.

A bit metallic in the mouth - slight honey, slight grassy hops - I'm a bit let down. Really nothing to shout about.

A little flat in the mouth, despite the fine looking head.

Fortunately, despite my slight dissappointment in this beer, it's quite drinkable. Given the choice, I'd have an Alesmith XPA or Stone PA.

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Photo of Crosling
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark Yellow in color with a creamy and lasting head of foam. A subtle but intoxicating blend of dried apricots, tangerine and orange in the aroma. Fairly mild, but it does have a pleasant, orange, passion fruit, hop flavor with a nice malt backing. A pretty good pale ale overall.

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Photo of electrified
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange/honey in color and slightly hazy. Not much of a head, some lacing. Aroma is citrus and grapefruit -- very nice. Light on the carbonation, rather light-bodied and smooth. Taste is very nice too -- lots of grapefruit, citrusy hops and a clean finish. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of orfeu
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Agressive carbonation streaks upward in a burnished transparent orange with a rocky meringuing yellowed-snow head. Orange pineapple juice and pink grapefruit aromas mingle with a citrus blossom honeyed malt scent. Honeyed orange juce flavor predominates -- the malt is so expertly paired with the hop bill in this beer that they fuse into one unified flavor. Juicy, almost sparkling mouthfeel. In fact the sweet orange-pineapple juice flavor combines with the aforementioned mouthfeel in such a way that this is almost reminiscent of a mimosa. Lacing is practically uniform in the rings it forms after each sip. Utterly ridiculous drinkability. Nearly flawless APA.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

orange gold with a touch of haze. thin off-white head that falls quickly and leaves rings of lace.

peaches, dough, gummy candy, and citrus in the aroma. pleasantly fragrant.

slightly bready with some fruitiness and hop bitterness in the afteraste. very clean and refreshing. light-bodied with a high carbonation. taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma, but it's very drinkable.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly-cloudy yellow-orange with a thick white head of tiny bubbles that fades slowly and leaves massive sheets of lace. I don't know how it happens, but it seems like every Bear Republic brew leaves a gargantuan amount of lace. Just incredible.

Smell is hoppy with a grapefruit/lemon bitterness and a light toasted-grain malt aroma.

Flavor is not as over-the-top hoppy as some of the more muscular APA's, but there's a nice blend of pine and citric flavors, and the toasty malts more than hold their own against the hops. Not an overly-complex flavor that reinvents the wheel, but everything comes together quite nicely.

Overall: Man, I love the BR brews. They're a steal at $4 a pop for the bombers, and I haven't tried one yet I thought was less than "very good."

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Photo of Chadbrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this, but I was a little dissapointed too. It looks good in the glass, orangish with almost a finger of head, sticky lacing. The aroma was classic PNW hops, really citrusy just the way I like it. When it came down to tasting it I was surprised at how the hops didn't seem to live up to the aroma. I mean they're there all right but they just sort of blow by the big citrus flavor you'd expect from the aroma and go into a mildly harsh kind of "scorched" finish. Not a bad beer by any means but not as balanced and clean as I'd hoped, still had no problem killing the bomber.

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Photo of Ego
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$3.99 for a bomber @ decicco market, pelham NY

moderately cloudy orange to golden, minimal head (but the minimal of it does stick around), sticky and slow lacing caresses the sides like silk sheets on morning wood, for a PA this is standard looking for the most part.

peach and citrus just had a baby, call it orangeach or something corny. that is the initial blast here, I think that is what some are describing as biscuits or whatever, I get more of a apricot/peach thing mixed in with the citrus slant, this isnt super duper but is suprisingly pleasant like a candle in the bathroom of your friend's house, it isnt something you want to smell alll the time but it sure beats smelling rancid ass. hell, this almost smells like a clean bathroom in some wierd way... a good smell none the less, and not the run of the mill hop florals in many APAs...

taste etc...
I find it thin in the mouth, the candle flavor is there.. maybe that is what I sensed in the nose.. "wax" it almost has a waxy taste and smell, which is interesting, it isnt slick like some hop oils but really tastes like you jammed a crayola in your mouth, not that that is a bad thing, this isnt "biting" in the hop dept but you get more of a citrus overtone (not amarillo like say in gumballhead or other 3Fs brews).

tasty. if this was local I would probably have it often, although probably not in a bomber. it's definitely worth a try but not one to go nuts looking for.

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Photo of poluti
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22oz. bottle

It was crisp straw gold with tints of orange when held to direct light. It was extremely carbonated with a plethora of carbonation bubbles running up the length of the glass. It had a fantastic white head which did take a little more of the glass than I wanted. However the consistency of the head was fantastic and it took it awhile to diminish. The aroma was great. The cascades took center stage but there were other floral scents involved with little to no alcohol smell. My initial impression was the centennial hops kicking me with the bitterness. However, unlike some of Bear Republic's other beers, this one seemed tame. The aromatic hops seemed to fill the mouth through the nose. It was like very fragerant. The malt content was definitely there and helped to counteract the hops making it extremely well balanced. The mouthfeel gave a great sensation. It finished very clean and hoppy, yet coated the tongue nicely, not lingering too long. I found this beer very drinkable and I will have to go to BevMo to pick up some more bombers for my brewing buddy as well as myself.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy peach, tons of carbonation, and a mammoth dense creamy rocky foamy head. Gobs of stickage, stubborn lifespan. Smell is mildly citrus, nothing bad, but nothing special or distinctive. Smooth malts with a hop blend that doesn't overpower. Well balanced, medium bodied, very satisfying finish. One of the better pale ales that I've had. Drinkable and sessionable. I will be returning to this one.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the Bear Republic bombers to try, i've only seen this one at Bev Mo.

appearance:giant head about half the pint glass. Looks to be taking quite a while to come down. Lot's carbination in this one, perhaps more than seen before in a Pale Ale. Must be that bottle conditioning. The color is a nice light orange, and there is some good lace.

smell: has that resiny hop smell, nice hop oils like those found in Racer 5. Really darn nice, toned down a touch from the IPA, but quite similar.

taste: really nice malts coming through in this one. There is a great balance in this one, the beer isn't overly bitter or hoppy. and the malts aren't roasty either, sort of a nice interesting caramal, with a aftertaste of hops and bitterness. This one may smell like Racer 5, but the taste is entirely different. I want to say there is some chalkiness in the taste.

mouthfeel: very light on this one, almost watery but there is still some serious body.

drinkability: just a nice solid drinker this. Too bad it's not on draft around here. Will get more of this come summer. 5 for 5 bear Republic knocks 'em down.

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Out of a 22 oz bottle.

Appears is golden, slightly amber, with some suspended particles. yellowish half inch head goes away quickly leaving a film on the top of the beer. A little bit of lacing.

Smells of roasted malt and sweet orange.

This is a pretty good pale ale. Smoothsweet roasted malt and some citrus flavor. Not as hoppy as some Pale Ales.

It's pretty light bodied, kinda oily mouthfeel.

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Photo of akahn
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my acrylic tumbler a light pumpkin orange. Off-white head, slightly sticky, recedes into a ring and film quickly. Big chunks of yeast in suspension.

Nose is juicy hops and sweet maltiness.

Taste is delicious citrus hops and strong, sweet caramel malt backbone. At the final pour, yeast flows in, adding a woody "twang".

Body is on the lighter side of medium, carbonation is on the mild side as well, providing a rolling tickle.

Well-balanced, good beer. Reminds me of Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor IPA, or what Samuel Adams Boston Ale wants to be. Personally, I'd like this beer a bit more hoppy and maybe with a bit more body, but I like it, and look forward to trying this brewery's other offerings.

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Photo of Gavage
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a 3" thick fluffy white head. The head barely receded as it looked like whipped egg whites after some settling.

Smell: tremdous floral hops and oranges. You can pick up the aroma without having your nose in the glass.

Taste: this beer is dominated by the floral bitterness and slices of oranges, but the malt levels are strong enough to balance it out. There is a hint of biscuits in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The finish is slighty dry. The oranges and bitterness linger long on the tongue. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: simply put - superb. This is an all-day and all-night beer. With all the raves about some other BRBC beers, this one caught me of guard for how good it is. This is a great APA.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 22 oz bottle with no freshness markings poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Clear copper-red with a billowing tan head. The head is huge. The liquid part of the beer is at the top of the 'u' in Duvel on the side of the glass and the head goes all the way to the edge of the glass. Excellent retention and skeleton of bubbles as the beer sits. Perfect lacing and foam left on the side of glass.

Smell: Lightly toasty malt with a floral hoppy nose. The hop nose is pronounced with earthy and sandy notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Bursting with malty flavor. Saltine crackers and biscuits. Lemon and straw flavors layered over a gritty hop bitterness. Some sprizy lime flavors and malty sweetness round out the beer. The feel is alternates between smooth and grainy and is quite refreshing with a cool and clean finish. The aftertaste is very malty and tastes like wheat bread.

Drinkability: I like the complex citrusy hop and malt flavor balance. Crisp and bold flavors throughout. Refreshing and great with pizza or on its own. Well done.

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XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 613 ratings.
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